What is professional? An experiential learning theory perspective of sales engineer competencies in the semiconductor industry.


Han-Jen Niu* and Yau-De Wang

The position of sales engineer is an important and specialized job in the high-tech industry. Sales engineers are responsible for getting orders from clients, which is critical for a firm’s survival. In order to complete his or her job targets, a sales engineer needs two abilities – technical knowledge and interpersonal skills. This study focuses on the semiconductor industry and examines by job analysis, the competency of sales engineers using the experiential learning theory. The study found fourteen abilities, including judgment, networking, relationship building and maintaining etc., are necessary for this kind of work. Three personality traits, namely goal orientation, initiation, and service orientation are also required. Comparatively, the required abilities and personality traits vary across streams in the industry, with “relationship building” being the most important ability. This exploratory study can provide new ideas for research and a useful practical direction for the selection and training of sales engineers.

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